I am an expat, non-EU citizen working for a Dutch company in Netherlands under "Highly skilled migrant" residence permit for over 3 years now. I want to change my job, but the company is US based and of course not "recognised sponsor", which is required for my residence permit. I am not a US or Japanese citizen either.

So the only option is to work for them as a contractor. For this I might need to become a self-employed or work via a umbrella company. Recently I have found out that "Highly skilled migrants" can be self-employed in addition to their main job. But it does not mention to what extent. Can I fully be self-employed and leave my current job? Or can I keep both and have two jobs?

Also some places in internet mention that it is advised to have more than one client, to be self-employed.

So I was hoping that some of people here may have experience or knowledge about this matter.Is it legal to be self-employed and still be "Highly skilled migrant", do I have to keep my current employment for that? Can I work for both companies?

For umbrella company, do you know of any good ones? The top result in google "dutch umbrella company" does not reply to my emails and does not answer calls.

2 Answers 2


I'm not a lawyer so take my answers with pinch of salt.


  1. You can be "self-employed" and use an umbrella company to have legal rights to stay in NL. The umbrella company even will apply for your 30% ruling.
  2. So you don't need to keep two jobs.
  3. Having one client is usually the problem when your income is lower than a certain amount. I assume you will earn enough to "deal" with possible unemployment and some liability risks. So the Dutch government will not try to protect you. I think having multiple clients might give you some tax benefits.
  4. I worked with guys, who used https://www.a2z-cm.com/ as an umbrella company.

All the best!


As per this link:

As of 1 April 2017 highly skilled migrant workers (holding a ‘kennismigrant’ permit), are also allowed to start working as an entrepreneur besides their work as employee. Required is that the foreign worker continues to fulfill the requirements for the highly skilled migrant worker permit.

Also based on someone else's personal experience IND does not allow to pursue full-time self-employment on HSM visa.

You can pursue both but not just self-employment.

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